Navigate Up
Sign In

The Republic of the Marshall Islands


heading foldHow we are helping

2013/14 Estimated Outcome

$4.0 million

2014/15 Budget Estimate

$4.5 million


Australia and the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) enjoy a close bilateral relationship supported by shared regional interests, particularly ensuring maritime and transnational security, sustainable management of fisheries and a common interest in supporting economic and human development.

The RMI is a climatically vulnerable country with heavily populated low-lying atolls which are increasingly susceptible to natural disasters such as tidal surges, droughts and cyclonic storms. The primary focus of Australia’s aid to RMI in
2014-15 will be on improving access to clean, potable water and sanitation to help address water-borne and water-related diseases. Australia will provide technical assistance to the water sector and work with the Asian Development Bank to address inadequacies in water supply and sanitation systems on Ebeye, and support reforms to state owned water and energy utilities. Ebeye provides much of the workforce for the strategically important US base on Kwajalein and is one of the most densely populated and vulnerable island atolls of the Marshall Islands.

In collaboration with the Asian Development Bank, Australia will also support an enhanced economic reform programme in RMI, which will promote increased economic self-reliance. In 2014 and 2015, working with Women United Together Marshall Islands (WUTMI), Australia will also support the implementation of the Pacific Women Shaping Pacific Development Initiative country plan for the Marshall Islands, with a focus on reducing gender-based violence. Australia will also provide support for greater resilience to natural disasters, building on Australia’s responses to inundations in 2014 and a severe drought in RMI’s northern atolls in 2013.

Archived details of expenditure for this program for 2013–14 can be found here.

Archived details of expenditure for DFAT’s aid program, following the Government’s announcement on 18 January 2014 to revise the aid budget, can be found here.


Results to 30 June 2013

  • In 2011–12, Australia provided the Government of the Marshall Islands with funding for 380 household water catchment tanks for families living in Kwajalein Atoll contributing to better public health through increased access to clean water.
  • A Water Adviser is assisting with drafting a National Water Policy. A water volunteer was placed in the Water Utility on Majuro to work with the maintenance team on improving service delivery.

Commitments 2013–14

  • The National Water Policy has been finalised and is to be considered by the FSM Government in 2014. This work is expected to lead to the establishment of a Water Taskforce, to bring about key reforms in water management.
  • Delivery and installation of 220 water tanks to the island of Ebeye in Kwajalein atoll which will provide improved access to safe water supplies.
  • In partnership with the Asian Development Bank, a multi-year water supply and sanitation project will be designed for Kwajalein Atoll.


Results to 30 June 2013

  • Scholarships were provided for five students in 2012 to study at the University of the South Pacific, Fiji School of Medicine, and the Fiji Institute of Technology.

Commitments 2013–14

  • Offer a further 15 scholarships for students to undertake tertiary education.
  • Provide funding for Australian volunteers to support youth work in the Marshall Islands.

Economic development

Results to 30 June 2013

  • A National Petroleum Policy Review was completed and an Action Plan drafted to assure high quality fuel imports in the Marshall Islands. The policy review and implementation resulted in over USD4 million savings to the Government of RMI and resulted in a 2013–14 USD3.2 million profit for the Marshall’s Energy Company.
  • In 2013, Australia provided funds to the Marshall Islands Energy Company to purchase electricity prepaid meters for households on Majuro. This will help to increase energy efficiency and recover outstanding debts.
  • Street lights on Majuro and Ebeye were replaced in 2010 with more energy and cost efficient bulbs. This has resulted in a 70 per cent reduction in energy use.

Commitments 2013–14

  • Australia will continue to support the Government of the Marshall Islands in Ebeye with technical assistance which will develop Energy and Water supply master plans.


Results to 30 June 2013

Commitments 2013–14

  • An Australian Tax Adviser will draft legislation to begin the process of introducing tax reforms. It is anticipated that the tax reform legislation will be presented to Congress in early 2014.


Results to 30 June 2012

  • Australia provided fuel to the Marshall Islands during the 2011 dengue outbreak, which helped to transport emergency supplies to outer islands via patrol boat.

Commitments 2011–13

  • Community-based education programs and small-scale infrastructure improvements will build the resilience of communities vulnerable to natural hazards. This will be achieved through a three-year partnership with the International Organization for Migration.

Research overview

Australia does not currently fund any research initiatives in the Marshall Islands. Considerations for future research should focus around the Marshall Islands priority outcome areas outlined in the Partnership for Development.


heading foldWhy we give aid


The Republic of the Marshall Islands is a vulnerable small island state in free-association with the United States. Two-thirds of the country’s population is concentrated on Majuro and Kwajalein Atolls. Many of the Marshall Islands’ people live in poverty, have poor health, and cannot access services such as safe water and energy supplies. As a regional neighbour, Australia is well-placed to work closely with the Marshall Islands Government to improve the development of the country.

Find out more about why we give aid to Republic of the Marshall Islands


heading foldHow we give aid

Through the Australia-Republic of the Marshall Islands Partnership for Development the two countries work together to support the Marshall Islands’ development, especially in areas where help is most needed. The Partnership commits the Marshall Islands to provide sound laws, policies and public services for its citizens, and to effectively and transparently manage development resources. It commits Australia to better target our aid, give good technical advice and to work closely with the Marshall Islands Government to deliver assistance.

Find out more about how we give aid to the Republic of the Marshall Islands


heading foldProgress Against MDGs

  • Eradicate extreme hunger & poverty
  • Achieve universal primary education
  • Promote gender equality and empower women
  • Reduce child mortality
  • Improve maternal health
  • Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases
  • Ensure environmental sustainability

Last reviewed: 28 October, 2014